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Hi everyone; welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Juliette Han, CFO and COO at Cambrian Bio. In part A, Juliette discussed the importance of negotiation, collaboration, and written communication. She also outlined the challenges she faces in her current role, dealing with universities, pharma companies, and vendors.
Additionally, she emphasized the importance of audience understanding in effective presentations and the value of personal interaction in managing difficult conversations. We strongly recommend you check out part A if you haven’t already before proceeding with this episode.
With that said, let’s get straight to it.
Firstly, Aram engages Juliette in a discussion about strategic thinking, practice, and commitment to improve understanding with the audience.
Juliette believes that practice improves performance but argues that empathy toward the audience is the key to a successful presentation. She notes that presentations often fail due to self-centeredness and insufficient empathy in the preparation stage.
Secondly, she emphasizes the importance of energy during a presentation. According to her, presenters who bring energy and enthusiasm to their topic are likely to engage and excite their audience.
Next, Aram inquires about Juliette’s perspective on drafting executive memos, wondering whether her approach differs from the strategies she already shared and whether the process involves iterations.
Juliette responds, emphasizing that executive memos share common aspects with her previous advice but require selective brevity. They serve to showcase critical points, unlike presentations where one can cover many more details. She insists that an effective executive memo presents the key points and the decisions needed. The quality of these memos, she explains, is not just in their writing or research but also in their conviction.
According to Juliette, the more knowledge one possesses, the more concise one can be. This, she suggests, is where the real skill comes into play.
When asked about the unique strengths introverts bring to the corporate boardroom, Juliette identifies three key strengths.
Firstly, she points to the superior listening skills of introverts, which she believes are critical in settings like boardrooms where thoughtful deliberation often prevails over brainstorming. Secondly, she mentions introverts’ ability to make others feel heard.
Finally, she highlights their capacity for deep, independent thinking that allows them to consider secondary and tertiary outcomes before sharing their ideas.
Juliette also advises introverted leaders to be aware of the potential difficulties in their communication style. She suggests that younger or less experienced team members may benefit from hearing the leader’s thought process, which can be missed when an introverted leader only presents the final result of their thinking.
To avoid seeming like an aloof leader, Juliette recommends being more transparent with the reasoning behind decisions and involving others in their thought process more than they might initially feel comfortable with.
Moving on, Aram asks Juliette how her experience in human resources has shaped her leadership style and her understanding of the importance of the human factor in business.
Juliette asserts that her decision to move into HR after working at McKinsey was initially unpopular due to the perception of HR as a thankless and unambitious job. However, she disagrees and believes that understanding people and money is crucial for leading a company. She also anticipates a rise in HR leaders becoming CEOs as people’s roles become more significant with the evolution of AI.
Juliette further expands on her view of HR, stating that it is more than just handling legal activities and performance aspects. In her experience at a hedge fund, she learned to evaluate human performance based on clear KPIs – making or not making money. This helped her understand the types of people who can drive a business and what organizational design best supports them.
According to her, it’s not just an HR job; every leader should understand this process since the people practicing the values and mission of the company are central to its success.
On a similar note, Nolan asks Juliette about the culture at Cambrian and how the executive team fosters a risk-taking environment where employees feel encouraged to come up with big, transformative ideas.
Juliette highlights that the executive team has prioritized the establishment of clear company values, focusing not just on their formulation but also their integration into daily operations. The goal is to make them more than just statements on a website but to drive the way employees approach their work.
She shares five key values at Cambrian:
These values are integrated into the company’s performance measures, including promotions. They serve as the expectations and standards of behavior for each employee, providing a clear framework for how they should pursue their “moonshot” ideas.
After that, Juliette provides some practical tips for business leaders who want to foster creativity within their teams and encourage employees to take calculated risks. She bases her advice on recent scientific research, which suggests that creativity can be enhanced through specific environmental conditions and practices.
#1 Warm-up Is Critical For Creativity
Juliette highlights that the research found creativity to be akin to a muscle that needs to be warmed up. For the majority of people, who aren’t naturally highly creative, the ability to come up with innovative ideas improves after they’ve had time to engage with a problem or concept.
Juliette suggests that leaders can apply this insight by giving team members a heads-up about upcoming brainstorming sessions so they have time to start thinking about the problem in advance.
#2 Power Dynamics Can Affect Creativity
Juliette cites research that showed people assigned a ‘high power’ role in a brainstorming exercise tended to be more creative than those assigned a ‘low power’ role. However, after a few rounds of brainstorming, the difference in creativity between the two groups disappeared.
From this, Juliette recommends that leaders “make themselves smaller” during brainstorming sessions, allowing someone else to take on a leadership role to help them feel more empowered to share their ideas.
#3 Avoid Immediate Judgment
Juliette suggests that leaders should refrain from expressing immediate judgment during brainstorming sessions. This can help to create an environment where people feel free to share their ideas without fear of criticism.
These practical tips can help business leaders create an environment that fosters creativity and encourages employees to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.
Moving on, Juliette shares her insights on corporate decision-making processes and the potential lessons that the corporate and academic worlds can learn from each other.
She advises senior leaders to establish a clear framework for decision-making. She argues against either giving no structure or dictating a decision. Instead, she advises leaders to present a problem statement, define the desired outcome, and specify the broad considerations at play. This approach encourages creativity and opens up possibilities for various decision-making levers.
Juliette notes that academia tends to be hypothesis-driven and is focused on long-term goals, whereas corporate environments are impact-driven and centered around faster innovation cycles. She emphasizes the need for factual integrity in academia and the focus on urgency and goals in the corporate world.
Juliette strongly believes that both academia and corporations can learn from each other. She suggests that academia could improve its storytelling by considering its audience and the impact of its work, while corporations could benefit from more rigorous factual research and a broader mindset.
Additionally, Juliette highlights the significance of understanding the ‘languages’ of different sectors and cultures. Whether it’s science or business, each field has its unique language, and understanding and communicating effectively in these languages is key to success.
Juliette ends with a call for mutual respect and understanding between different fields and cultures. She suggests that assimilation and adaptation to other cultures and languages are essential skills in any collaborative environment.
Lastly, Juliette talks about her experiences with negotiation, both difficult and successful ones, and shares some valuable lessons she’s learned from these experiences.
#1 Difficult Negotiations
Juliette observes that the most difficult negotiations for her are not about the hardship experienced during the process but rather about her regrets afterward. These regrets often pertain to overlooked negotiation levers and overemphasizing achieving one particular outcome.
She advises listeners to consider all potential levers in negotiation and not get too caught up in achieving one particular outcome.
#2 Successful Negotiations
Juliette also shares an example of a successful negotiation she was involved in during the hiring of a general counsel. Instead of trying to “win” the negotiation against this experienced negotiator, she opted to be completely transparent about her positions, revealing what she could and couldn’t compromise on.
She notes that this approach fostered a positive relationship and set the stage for a successful working relationship.
Juliette concludes by reminding listeners that a negotiation is not an end but rather the beginning of something—whether it’s a business partnership, an employee-employer relationship, or a client-service provider relationship.
Therefore, it’s important to approach negotiations in a way that sets the stage for a successful and collaborative relationship going forward.
Thank you for your time!
Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Juliette Han, CFO, COO of Cambrian Bio. If you haven't already checked out part A of the show, be sure to do that first. Let's jump into the episode with Juliette.
Aram Donigian : Your framing that you've described and the intentionality, right, the strategic thinking. Really, I mean, I think it speaks to just a level of comfort and confidence in these situations. And I don't know, does it just take practice or does it take like a real commitment to just doing those things well, because you saw the incremental improvement or understanding of the people you were trying to reach.
Juliette Han : I think, well, first of all, practice makes anything better. I think if you get burned a few times in these presentations, you really truly reflect. But I do think what it takes is getting out of your own head and being more empathetic of the audience. I think that what we lack, ultimately when we're putting these presentations together, is very self-driven of what I want to say to you and not enough empathy in the preparation.
So, I would say that's number one. And then number two, honestly, in 99% of presentations I see going a little south, it's the energy. The energy level is the, some in some ways like the easiest thing you can do. But I do think that when you're so deep in your head or maybe you just don't exude a lot of energy, I think you need to bring energy in your own enthusiasm for the topic. So if you're not excited, why should anyone else be?
AD : Yeah, absolutely. You know, you add about executive memos too. In addition to emails and presentations, anything you'd add in terms of thinking, how you think about drafting an executive memo at all differently than anything you've shared already? Are there iterations you go through with drafts when creating one? But you know, is there anything different or is it really just kind of really commitment to what you've been saying?
JH : Yes. So executive memo is a lot of things I said, but I think the thing that's important here is you have to leave out a lot of stuff. It's called executive memo because these are what you are able to show in these executive memos that you might not be able to do in presentation. It's your decision on what you think are the critical matters. So often in these appendix and presentations and long form narratives, you can kind of throw all the thesis into it and say like, look, I did all this thorough research, 20 pages of it. Here it is.
An executive memo, you're saying, I'm going to put a stake in the ground and tell you exactly what are the three things you need to do and know what decisions we need to make. And it's executive memo, the good, great ones are not just well-written and well researched, but it's the conviction that you deliver in your messaging that really takes so much confidence and so much assurance and so much research. The more you know, the more shorter you can write. I would say that it really is where that shines through.
AD : Yeah, that's not easy to do. It can be difficult.
NM : Julia, earlier you described yourself as an introvert and you already explained how you put yourself in the hot seat of, as far as listening to everyone's concerns in that particular meeting where you just crushed it considering your own journey. What superpowers do introverts bring to the corporate boardroom?
JH : I do think that introverts do have a number of superpowers. And I think that number one is the listening skills. I think we like to listen more than speak. I think introverts tend to not think out loud, likes to think about formulate ideas before, completely before speaking up. And I do think that in places like Boardroom where you are not so much as often brainstorming things, I think that ability to listen patiently and being before sharing your opinions comes in critically handy. Absolutely. And then number two, and flip side of that is making the other person feel heard.
And I think that is another superpower of an introvert. And then three is going away, being able to think deeply about a topic and then coming out with the secondary, tertiary outcomes on your own before sharing out your ideas and having the patience or actually mental desirability to do so. I think that's also important.
But I also want to point out, what is something if you are introverted leader or something you should be aware of. Is that especially younger or earlier tenure member of your team, whether they're extroverted or introverted, they might benefit greatly from you thinking out loud. And that's what I learned is that as an introvert you tend to deliver the final thing because you did the whole 10 steps of thinking yourself. And often it's hard to bring a team along and you can come across like a thoughtless leader who doesn't want people's input or they really don't know how you got to that answer. So I would say that even in the boardroom, you know, they might be of same tenure than you and of same thinking might have the same information.
But anywhere outside of that, even maybe in the boardroom, you should really take care to explain your thinking and bring people with you on your thinking journey more than you think you should or you're comfortable with.
NM : Perfect. I think that's a great challenge that a lot of people should aspire to really be self-aware there. So thank you for sharing that.
AD : And I wonder, you know, Juliette, how much of your, because you start, you spent time in human resources, which I think is anyone and I've spent some time, even when I was in the military doing human resource work, pretty non-grateful sort of work that you do. Lots of demands. I'm curious if that experience shaped any of this thinking you're sharing with us as you kind of learning about the importance of the human factor side of business and kind of impacts how you, how you lead today.
JH : Absolutely. In fact, my decision to go into HR after McKinsey was actually an unpopular one. Some of my friends or mentors and you know, because people do see HR incorrectly so, as a thankless job and somewhere people who don't have ambitions to go, I absolutely disagree. And that's a bet I took with my career.
If you want to be a leader in a company and if you understand money and if you understand people, then you can really lead most companies. And that is true, right? So that's why a lot of CFOs end up becoming CEOs, even if they're not the product experts themselves. And I do think that there will be a rise of HR leaders who become CEOs because they understand people where people actually are becoming, if anything, with AI and that evolution becomes even more scarce.
And the way I think about this though is that HR isn't just about pushing legal activities and somehow driving some performance aspect or conversations. What I learned, especially when I learned at a hedge fund where KPIs of human performance is actually quite clear, you made money or didn't make money, right? And then you can therefore in that formula think about what types of people can make drive a business in addition to what org design.
And it's really end-to-end solution. How do you find the talent? What type of talent will succeed here and what paradigm and know how can you push them to perform? And I do think that often people think about this very discreetly. Talent identification is a different problem from org design. And then that org design is now different from a performance. And what I think I learned the best and what I try to apply every day as a leader, and I think every leader should do this, and this shouldn't just be an HR job, it's this end-to-end process of talent and how that drives your business decision making. Because those are the people that are going to practice the values and the missions of your company. So how can you do all that without understanding the end-to-end?
NM : Yeah, this is great. I think that this, you know, kind of leads me to thinking through a next question here. And this really leads up to a conversation around organizational design and culture. So I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about the culture at Cambrian and how those in the C-suite seek to foster a risk-taking environment when our team members will take a moonshot.
JH : Absolutely. Actually, this values statement that we worked on was some of the, I would say as an executive team, probably the most important thing we all collectively said that we need to do. And not only is it important to come up with it, but two, how do you integrate it into the way we function every day? So it's not just a, hey, nice to have statement on a website that looks good, but because as you pointed out, we want our employees to go after big ideas in a way that's very thoughtful.
So, first I want to share with you a few of our values that really reflect how we function and how we create moonshot ideas that work. So number one was big ideas distilled to practice, and number two, always have a hypothesis. Three, take bold measured risks. Four, be brilliant together. And five, perhaps most important is character matters. So in the way we integrate this, our behavior is all of this is integrated into how we measure performance, including promotions.
So we say for example, number one, big ideas distill to practice. Are you able to, one, create big ideas in a way you create a hypothesis and then you break that down into problem structuring and then be able to create discipline around how you're going to disapprove or test out your hypotheses. So in that sense, we created these values and performance rubric that reflects by tenure, what behaviors we expect of you in order to pursue moonshot ideas.
So if we say, Hey, this is a moonshot idea, so we are able to say, we want you to have a moonshot idea, we want you to break that down into, problem statements and into this structure. We want you to take a first stab at creating the hypothesis. Then we want you to create diversity in thought that's also integrated into performance. We want you to bring ideas forward from different perspectives, people who agree with you and deeply disagree with you, that allows you to then say, with integrity, make decisions forward. So if anything, it made the idea. because often companies push employees to just be creative, take some risks, but that's not helpful if you don't tell them step by step how you will be expected to behave.
AD : Yeah. And you know, within that, so you just said, you know, just telling people to be creative and take risk. I get this a lot, which is I know I need to take a moonshot, I need some creative ideas. And yet this is hard for me to do. This is a, you know, an instance that I feel like we hear quite a bit. From, as you look at your own business, how do you help people find their creative space and the right level of creativity needed to take measured risks and to be bold? And what advice would you give to other business leaders for like doing this well.
JH : So recently there's some articles came out. I actually wrote about the scientific research in one of my Forbes articles. So you can go read it there. Recently a paper came out around exactly your question, which is how do you get your team to be more creative? Now one, I think everyone will agree that they want to hire someone creative to problem solve, but we don't think enough about what is the environment you create in which that creative person is creative. So there are people who are just inherently creative and will be creative and no matter what situation, but most people aren't. So what this research has found that creativity really comes from warmup. What does that mean?
So in a room full of, they just took a bunch of college students who have no hierarchy within them innately and just assigned them and said, you're high power, you're low power. And in this artificial structure, they had some brainstorming sessions and high powered folks were just more creative and low powered folks. were not creative. Now, if you think about the artificially, these weren't inherently creative people. These are randomly assigned assignments. So, and then, and was just a label that you're low versus high made a difference in how much creative ideas you had.
Now, if you, when they played it out, a couple more rounds, second and third rounds of creativity brainstorming the low power folks now had no difference between high versus low people sharing creative ideas.
Now, what does that mean and what could you do in practice? Number one, the thing around psychological safety. Yes, of course that matters. You need to create an environment of safety. However, in this random collection of people, there wasn't really a difference in safety, right? It's a people that came together with no background within themselves. So what you need to do, and even within yourself is that creativity comes from warmup is what they found. It's just another muscle where some people may have more of that muscle, but for everyone else, and for most people, you need to warm up what that could mean for your team. Means that one, give people ideas early. Don't just cold call and say, give me creative ideas and say, look, I'm, we're going to brainstorm this. I want you to bring some ideas and give the prompt early.
Number two, even within a brainstorming session in a group, make yourself smaller. Meaning, have someone else take the leadership role and assign a high power position to them so that they will be more open to sharing those ideas. And number three, and don't bestow judgment on at that time and don't say, okay, that's a great idea or that's a bad idea. Because what you want creativity to do is to unleash ideas without any abandon, right? You don't want to hold them back. So I'll say those are some three tactical tips that you can do to get your team to be more creative.
AD : That's really powerful. And we know that creativity and things you're talking about lead to better decision making. We see decision making as kind of the essence around negotiation and influence, right? We don't, we often tell clients we don't negotiate to reach an agreement. Rather we negotiate to create good choices for ourselves between what we could do together or what we can do separately or with someone else.
One of your recent articles also talks about the true cost, understanding the true cost of making decisions. I feel like it fits in with what you're talking about, about Cambrian culture, the power, that you kind of discussing around listening, listening to others, bringing in ideas, getting creative. What's some of your critical advice about senior leaders being able to drive better decision making processes?
JH : Yes. So I do think that something that senior leaders need to do upfront is to create a framework and structure. I think what often senior leaders do is either give zero structure as to the decision making, or they say, I want to do this. You tell me if you disagree. And that is so, I guess reductive, I think an approach. So if you're a senior leader, you need to say, you need to create a problem statement sheet that I'm sure you've done at some point early in your career. I think this applies. I think you need to align the team around what problem and what outcome are we looking for. And the outcome needs to be very contextual setting, not just, I need to make as much money as possible. The context in which you need to provide for them is a lot broader than that.
Then you need to align the team, what are the considerations you're thinking about? So list a couple. So that could be something like relationship with this counterparty, reputation with this aspect. So some things that other people may not be thinking about. And then you can say, you know, what is the range in which you're willing to work? And once you have this framework broadly, you can ask the team to go back and bring their own ideas as to what should be added or subtracted. So instead of constantly thinking about what is the decision you want to drive, what is the exactly lever you want to pull? I think the process should be a lot more open than that within the certain boundaries that you create. And I think that's where you will get the most creativity when people aren't thinking about, Hey, I want to move this number slightly, what is the creativity around moving this number slightly? It should really be about are we putting, are we thinking about all the levers that we have within our back pocket? And if so, what else can we pull out in order to move this number right or move this relationship.
NM : You spent some time in both the corporate world and academia. What do you see as things both can learn from each other?
JH : So, they both have huge strengths, I would say. So what strength, for example, does academia have? Academia is very hypothesis-driven. Academia is all about passion and long-term mindset and factual integrity. Look what just happened to Stanford Dean Mark Tesia Levine, he had to resign because some papers, he didn't fabricate it themselves, but some people hid and he didn't fight that hard enough. So something about factual integrity is hugely important in academia.
And in corporate you can imagine a lot of that gets glossed over. There isn't as much respect for factual integrity or being, having a strong hypothesis. At the same time, corporate does something really well that academics can learn from, which is being impact driven money or otherwise, having a clear goal, faster innovation cycles, what is the applicability of my solution? And there's this sense of constant urgency that corporate provides. So I do think that both worlds could benefit from each other in this way. So when we go back to thinking about storytelling, whether it be written or verbal communications, I think academia in this instance can be much better at thinking about the audience and what impact it will have. Whereas corporate can be a lot more driven by, you know, factual research and a broader thinking that academia brings.
AD : Yeah, really helpful, it's interesting that you are able to walk so well between different lanes in industries, right? So the academic and corporate, both the science and the business, right? That the people hear things differently and learn things differently. The ability to speak multiple languages from a corporate academic perspective, I would think is incredibly helpful.
JH : Absolutely. And I do love working with the scientific teams. I do love working with our R&D team and being able to speak, you're absolutely right about calling it a different language. When you learn science or learn any topic, you are learning a new language. And with that, I think that you, all of us need to think about the different types of works as different culture and be respectful of each other's cultures and languages, but do our best to assimilate.
AD : Yeah, you know, one of the things I've really enjoyed Juliette, about following you on LinkedIn, and I'm going to encourage our listeners to do the same thing, are your Juliette-isms. Again, I don't know how you have the time to write thoughts with everything else. Seems like a pretty intentional practice though. I was reading one of your most recent posts on LinkedIn though, about this idea of a career explorer mindset. And you compared the idea of exploring a country or a city like navigating an industry or career. And, you mentioned these three things, foundational values, infrastructure, and particulars, that can help us better navigate our professional careers.
Could you describe your thinking a little bit, to people? I feel like some of this is even just influencing, you talked about negotiating with ourselves earlier, this is kind of a negotiation within ourselves as we explore where we need to be and what do we need to be doing.
JH : Yeah, I do, you know, recently I was traveling and I thought about, there it brings together a couple of things I think about. So one is when you have a career explore mindset, it's vastly different from job searching mindset. What I often see, especially in the early tenure, is for whatever reason you want to leave a job and then they say, okay, now I'm going on a job search. I'm going to apply to these jobs and then I'm going to, hopefully now I'm time boxed into some three to six months I'm going to give myself to look for a job. That's kind of like saying, I am going, I really need a break and I need to, I'm just going to give a week into have this perfect experience for myself. And it doesn't work that way. I do think that the fundamental aspect of career explorer really is that your career is a long-term journey that's constantly moving.
So, whether it be you don't have to be looking for a job, but at any instance you should be thinking about, as you think about travel and food and saying, Hey, I wonder if I like that food there. Oh, you know, you look at a beautiful picture on Instagram of this place and say, huh, I wonder if that could be somewhere I want to go into. And you also think about things you want to do. So for example, when you plan a trip, you think about not just what that looks like, you also think about what the weather is going to be like, what if I will want to stay at this hotel, if I want to do hiking there, do I want to swim there? Who do I want to go with? And we don't put enough of that type of thinking in the way we approach jobs.
We look at an Instagram photo, like a job description, prestige of a company title and say, oh yeah, that's where I want to go. And if we can put that holistic thinking of how we think about exploring a vacation destination into your job, that would first of all be immensely helpful in your decision-making.
Now, the three things I brought up though was also around how to not be daunted about when you explore a new industry or a new job. Often when people say, I want to switch into a new industry, I don't even know where to start. I'm at a big new company. Where do I even go on from here, day one. Fundamentally, no matter what country you go, when you're an explorer, if you're a seasoned traveler, you will know that one, most cities will have some sort of a travel infrastructure. From the airport, I mean, New York does a poor job of connecting the airport. But in any other major cities in Europe, for instance, there will be a train station or a bus station that will take you right into center of the train. There will be some plumbing system, there's probably a trash collection day. And so these are fundamentals like at a company.
No matter what company you go, there's probably a legal team, there's probably a HR team, there's probably an expense team that will help you. So understanding that there is some core infrastructure and principle in place, that's why you shouldn't be too scared to go to a new place. And then it comes down to the particulars, which might be particular to an industry. So just as you don't go, or you shouldn't go, if you do this, you shouldn't go to a new country and say, well, we don't do it like that at my house.
So you should change your ways. You will never do that when you enter a new country. Same thing. When you enter a new job, even if it's within your sector, you shouldn't tell everyone what to do day one. You should observe and then you should feel, you should now ask questions. And you should learn as much as you can in order to do that. Now, if you were to choose to live there, now that's different. So that's the second aspect of this career exploration mindset, this respect for the peculiars of that culture.
Number three, though, no matter where you go in the world, some fundamentals will stay the same. Kindness, empathy, some social etiquette, civility, no matter how that is reflected and communicated in a culture that might be different, but humanity doesn't go away. And just like that in your job search or career mindset, what are some fundamental values like empathy, compassion, or maybe there's a few that you absolutely care about. What is that that stays with you? And I want everyone to think about more of that. When you think about your career, instead of deciding, making your career choices based on some picture that you see on LinkedIn.
AD : Building just a quick follow up, talking about these foundational values. You wrote an article about gratitude. Why is gratitude so important as a foundational value to professional work, to working within an organization? How do you try to practice demonstrating gratitude on a regular basis?
JH : So, I know there's a lot of lofty practices people do around writing into gratitude journals and meditation. I'm the first one to tell you I have a really hard time doing any of those things. So what I'm going to share with you is maybe something a lot smaller and tactical, but I think maybe easier for some of you than, you know, overhauling your morning routine.
So one, I think the idea of gratitude comes in all sizes. Being grateful for the situation you are in, just the fact that you're in a temperature controlled environment is, I'm massively grateful for that compared to the heatwave outside. So there's a big picture aspect of it and there's gratefulness of course down to everyday interactions that you have. And I do think that especially in a workplace, we are often grateful for people who are more senior, the mentors, your management, thank you for understanding this and thank you for that.
But I don't think we practice enough gratitude for people who enable you. So, these are just simple as thank you, yes, you asked the team to do some work and they did it. Should you be thankful? I think absolutely, yes. I think that they did a great job or they listened to you. And I just think that, the humanity goes a long way. So not taking everyone at your work for granted, no matter how little impact you think they have, how big of an impact that they have. I do think that practice of gratitude should percolate every action you take. And I do think that truly that is as small as responding to an email and saying, thank you, I really appreciate your input on this.
And then when you ask someone to do something, put yourself in their shoes and say, what challenge am I putting on them that you might think is a three minute task might actually be a three hour task for this person.
So, I do think that it really drives the doctrine of how do you think about empathy and the everyday interaction and are you thinking about the other person enough day to day? That's for me the practice of gratitude at the workplace.
AD : Yeah, it goes back to what you said about leadership reputation at the start of this. So yeah, thanks.
NM : You've accomplished so much in your career. What words of wisdom would you offer to those following in your footsteps, perhaps especially young women of color pursuing leadership opportunities in business?
JH : Hmm. So I was recently asked when I was on a panel recently, and I talked about speaking with confidence, speaking up more, making your ideas be heard, and someone raised their hand and asked a very good question and said, ‘how do you think this fits in with authenticity?’ So if I'm not the type to really speak up, if I'm not the type to do this and that, are you saying that you have to be inauthentic? And my answer is this, you should not be inauthentic.
But when I say, when I, you know, share some of my insights and what worked for me around communications and you know, standing up for yourself and speaking up for yourself, I would like for you think about it as your outfit or makeup. You're not hiding yourself. I'm not asking you to fundamentally change the way you look, but your hygiene doesn't mean that you shouldn't shower. Put your best face forward doesn't mean that you shouldn't strive to, you know, put some effort into how you look to not sell yourself short.
AD : Intentional authenticity, then. It sounds like, I mean, there's a…
JH : I like that phrasing, intentional authenticity.
AD : Yeah, that's great advice. That's great advice for all of us. Alright, last question. I think as we get ready to wrap up. It's a two-parter. We gotta get our money's worth. So, this is a conversation, a podcast on negotiation, influence, persuasion, something you've had a lot of background in. We've had a lot of those conversations in a variety of different situations. Can you tell us, can you share with us a very difficult negotiation example that something you were part of, maybe even something you consider a failure and what you learned from that? And the second part would be, can you share with us what you consider to be a highly successful, maybe the most successful or exciting satisfying negotiation experience and why you thought it went so well? Two part question, but I'll give it to you in both difficult followed by most successful.
JH : I would say I'm going to be a little bit broad on the difficult one just because not too sure, go into too much of the details. But I would say in general, the most difficult negotiation is less about how it felt at the time and then a lot more about the regrets after. So I do think that even if something's hard, if the outcome is good, we often forget the feeling during, so if, when you ask someone in retrospect, how did that feel? If the outcome was really good, a lot of people won't remember how difficult things were, right? They just have a rosy memory.
So the most difficult transactions that I have dealt with are always the ones where I have regrets on the outcome and what kind of regrets do I have? I think most commonly I remember later what other lever I didn't pull or what I didn't think about. And this goes back to the framing that I want everyone to take away, which is when you're trying to resolve a negotiation with anyone of any size, people start deeply thinking about exactly the one number they're trying to achieve and don't think about all the levers you have in your back pocket. But I do think that there are second tertiary levers that I regret the most. And I think that makes the negotiation most difficult because I was optimizing for one outcome when there were second and third outcomes that in the long run really could have made a difference.
Now the one that was more satisfying, is I was, this is a type of a negotiation actually when you're hiring someone. So, hiring manager for a general counsel and this general counsel is just amazing. And the background is in transactions. And this is a pro, just negotiator through and through, right? So this is one where, you know, you can go about it two ways. You can either say, I'm going to try to negotiate, like I'm going to take it a fun challenge to negotiate against the negotiator, but sometimes you just have to concede your position.
And that's how I went in. Look, I know there's a number of points we want to negotiate, but I'm going to tell you all the way up front, and this is probably what all the negotiators tell you not to do. I'm going to tell you exactly what I am not supposed to do and tell you all my positions where I can fold and where I cannot. Right off the bat. Because you know what? Because with you, I'm hiring you because I want you to negotiate for me. And there's no way, there's no winning position right now at the end of this, if I quote-unquote win or you win, that we come into this on a productive stance. And I don't think that's a good start to our relationship.
So I'm going to tell you exactly what I can do and I'm going to be honest with you because once you join me, you'll see exactly that these were honest positions that I'm in. So only thing I'm going to do right now is appeal to you by saying, I promise to commit to you to being the best team. And I'm going to commit to you, to doing best I can, to that both of us are successful. And that's really the only negotiation leverage I have with you today. So I do think that that made us start off on a really good standing. And I do think that we often get so engrossed in one-upping someone in negotiations. And that it ends up harming a relationship.
So instead of seeing a negotiation as the end of something, we should really approach it as a start of something. And when you want this to be the start of something great, there's that little bit of a point really matter, is what I really want people to think about. And it's harming this relationship and giving that feeling of, I won today I beat you, really the best start to a productive relationship where you want that person motivated, incentivized to build something with you. So I'll say for me, that's probably the best experience.
AD : Yeah. I love that. We often say the same thing, that negotiation is the start. And if you want an indicator of what it's going to be like to work together with, whether it's hiring an individual, or it's getting to go into business with another corporation, right? The negotiation process is your first indicator of what it's going to be like to live and work together.
Thanks Juliette. This has been fantastic and so many wonderful takeaways. I want to do a quick recap if I can, but, I'd love to give you just a final word, anything we didn't ask you that we should have today that you want to leave with our listeners?
JH : You know, I have new thoughts every day, so I really enjoyed this conversation. I do love talking about these topics, so there's nothing that comes to mind for me. But if you guys have any, if the listeners or you guys have any other ideas, about topics to discuss or if you would like to read more about my thoughts, I also publish on Forbes in addition to Linkedin.
AD : Fantastic. We'll do our best to make sure some of those links get posted. Folks, what a great conversation. importance of internal alignment with our team around the principles, so that we can execute external negotiations more better, more effectively being when I'd loved the, the comment around the written importance of written communication. When you do something that becomes common, your ability to do it really well sets you apart. Folks, go back and listen to the ideas there please.
Even difficult negotiations, this idea that our memories sometimes mislead us and that we will have regrets over time. How many levers can we pull different levers and think about things a little bigger picture? And then I just, again, this last kind of comment that you left us with Juliette, which is that negotiations are just the beginning for what's to come. So thanks so much for taking time outta your busy schedule to be with us. Let me turn it back over to Nolan.
NM : Absolutely. Thank you so much for joining us today, Juliette. So that is it for us on today's podcast. If you haven't already, please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast and we'll see you in the next episode.
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